Earlier this year the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Greece hosted cooking workshops for refugee and local women living on the Greek island of Lesbos. Some of the women who took part talked to us about their experience and shared the recipe of the dish they shared with the group. Hafeza shares her recipe for Afghan Bolani.
Hafeza, 26, has been living in Greece for four years after fleeing Afghanistan. Hafeza lives with her two children in Mytilini on the island of Lesbos. Sixty-three percent of the refugees and asylum seekers on Lesbos are from Afghanistan, which is experiencing an escalating political and humanitarian crisis.
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“My mother taught me the recipe. When she was in the kitchen I went to check what she was doing. I asked her what she was cooking, and she told me 'Bolani' and then she taught me how to make it.” Hafeza says.
"It's delicious and I like it a lot."
Follow the recipe to learn how to make Afghan Bolani.
- 4 cups plain flour
- Pinch of salt
- 1 and three quarter teaspoons of dried yeast
- Spices - chili powder and/or chili flakes to taste
- 2 and a half tablespoons of oil
- 5 medium potatoes
- 1 cup/10 spring onions
- Handful of parsley
- 1 cup water
- Oil for frying
- Greek yogurt
- Mix flour, yeast, salt, and oil in a bowl, add water until the dough comes together in a ball. Knead the dough with your hand until it is firm then cover the bowl in plastic wrap and leave to one side.
- Boil the potatoes. When they are boiled, rinse them in cold water so they cool down. Then peel the potatoes with your hands.
- Using a spoon, mash the potatoes in a bowl, adding in the chopped up fresh onions. Season the potatoes and onions with pepper and spices.
- Get your dough and break off a ball. About the size of two handfuls. Flatten the ball slightly so it's a flat circular shape. Add a spoonful of the potato mix to the middle of the dough. Use fingers to flatten it down/spread it out but leave a gap around the edge of the dough.
- Fold the dough in half over itself covering the potato in the middle. Do this again until you've used up all the ingredients and dough.
- Heat up a frying pan of oil. When hot, add the folded dough to the pan. It should be covered in oil (Be careful as it will be very hot!). Fry both sides of the Bolani until it is brown and crispy (like the photo below).
- When cooked, use tongs or folks to remove the Bolani from the pan and rest on pieces of kitchen towel to help soak the excess oil.
- Serve with Greek yogurt and enjoy!
Recipes from home
This recipe is part of our Recipes from Home series. These recipes have been shared by refugee and Greek women who took part in the IRC’s cooking workshops held at Nan restaurant on the Island of Lesbos in Greece. The aim of the workshops is to bring together local and refugee women, to promote common experiences and mutual understanding through the universal language of food.
The cooking workshops were supported by the Western Union Foundation.